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Dana Center Role

Claire Hagen Alvarado is the director of Literacy First, which is dedicated to ensuring that all students develop reading skills that allow them to realize their full potential with regard to education, economic opportunity, civic engagement, and personal development. Claire joined the Literacy First Team in spring 2022 and is responsible for all aspects of the program.

Literacy First was founded in 1994 by Dr. Uri Treisman (executive director of the Center) and led by Dr. Mary Ellen Isaacs from 1997-2022. Literacy First trains AmeriCorps tutors to deliver evidence-based literacy tutoring to young struggling readers. In addition to managing a highly effective AmeriCorps program, Literacy First provides school partners with a variety of support services, with a particular focus on achieving successful outcomes for growing readers, including 1:1 literacy interventions, teacher and staff training, instructional coaching, data-centered advising, and bilingual and culturally relevant reading resources and interventions.

Before Joining the Dana Center

Prior to joining the Dana Center, Claire taught reading to multilingual learners at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She served as the Language Arts Supervisor for the Austin Independent School District and then earned her Education Leadership Doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with her doctoral residency at the Texas Education Agency as the Statewide Early Child Fellow. 


Ed.L.D. Education Leadership Doctorate, Harvard University

M.A., Language and Literacy Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

B.A., History and Spanish, University of Kansas